Monthly Archives: June 2015

Community Connection: The Biggest Reason to Buy, Sell, and Listen Local

Premiere on Film Row

From left; Orange Rex, Graham Colton

This past Friday night, at the wonderful community exchange which was Premiere at Film Row not only did I get to hear some fantastic Okie-grown music, experience some fascinating art, eat fabulous crepes, and enjoy the fact that it was all sponsored by kindly lawyers who want to foster excellent experiences in Oklahoma City, I also got to meet the one-man phenomenon known as Orange Rex.

My lovely buddy L. and I were enjoying our delicious crepes and the musical stylings of Tulsa-based duo Desi and Cody when I noticed a man dressed in orange walking around…with half of his mustache and goatee shaved off.

In between wondering why I have never taken up my dearly departed Aunt Lorene’s habit of carrying her own silverware (plastic forks are radically inefficient for cutting through crepes), and wishing I had picked up some napkins (it wasn’t a problem in the end—it’s a shame to waste even a drop of good balsamic vinegar, so licking your fingers is allowed), I found myself itching to know the reason for this individual’s facial hair format.

Lovely Buddy L knows what she’s getting into when she goes places with me, so she didn’t bat an eye when I gestured to this guy and said, “Okay…tell me why.”

He introduced himself as Orange Rex (which cemented my desire to be his friend) and said that it was just something he did. Something he’s done for years, and yes…it’s a conversation starter.

Following that explanation, Orange Rex (who is a fire-breather, juggler, entertainer, and general bon vivant) talked to me and my friend for what may have been at least a half hour—and it was one of the most incredible conversations I’ve had on this Earth with another human being.

He voiced his opinion on the overwhelming commodification of even the most basic areas of life due to the extreme imbalance of wealth in our world, and also shared his ideas about how to fix some of it (and this isn’t just a pie-in-the-sky musing—he has a semi-solid plan for actually doing it during his retirement years).

He related how his mustache-goatee schtick wasn’t appreciated by his grandmother while she was alive. And instead of figuratively flipping her the bird and only concentrating on his right to do what he wants with his own face, he considered her viewpoints, and began his practice of shaving it all off at Thanksgiving, and growing a full beard from then until Christmas. A habit he continues to this day, even though his grandmother has passed, as a sort of sabbatical from selfishness; in his own words, “I get a lot of attention all year. That’s a season that sort of needs to be about other things, and I figure it’s a good time to concentrate on others.”

He held forth on ALL KINDS of things–I seriously wish I had been recording it–but the single most important bit of wisdom I heard him give was his description of how he gives his 17yo daughter a few bucks every week to take herself out on a date.

And he believes that everyone without a significant other should do the same. Be your own significant other, and treat yourself. (Yes, that’s a veiled Parks and Recreation reference. I’m individualizing Orange Rex’s sage advice with the help of my own internal lexicon.)

I was blown away.

Not just by his openness and willingness to share all of these things with a total stranger (which I love, and which I think the world needs), but by the fact that our interaction was made possible just by being at the same place. (If you’re grinning here and thinking to yourself, “Jill, you can have that experience just by talking to folks who are high at concerts”, then I would agree with you, and add that I don’t discriminate…high folks can sometimes make the deepest observations and are often excellent conversationalists, because they’re not worried about looking too eager, or appearing foolish. We could all act a little more like high folks, in my opinion, and be better off.)

This opportunity for connection is one of my best arguments for encouraging the support of “local” endeavors, whether it’s small farms, boutiques, or home grown bands. Yes, it’s good for the immediate economy, and we need to remember that we’re an economic ecosystem, but more than that…we’re a community. And the benefits of community are myriad.

We need connection, as human beings. Some people more than others, and sometimes we need it at specific times in our lives.

But it needs to be kept up. If you want it to be there when you need it, you need to support it continually.

And it can go beyond just the basics of “I want fun things to do on a regular basis, right outside my front door”, or “I need to have a social network of local contacts in case I ever need to look for another job”; we can make human connections with others who live and work right next to us. Connections that can lift us up and encourage us, when we need it. Connections that can remind us that not only are we not alone in the world, we’re not alone in our immediate vicinity.

The Internet is one of the most powerful inventions of our lifetime. Online social media has been a boon for connection, but as much as it has opened up communication opportunities for humans, it also has the potential to close us off to our local, in person, real life community, if we don’t watch it. I believe one of the best uses of those tools is the organization of local activity. (In other words, for the love of Pete, don’t stop reading my blog, or following me on Twitter.)

So yes, buy local, sell local, listen local…but above all, don’t forget to engage local.

Cool Things: DC on Film Row


If you’re looking for another fun, regular event to attend in OKC this summer AND some encouragement that the dollar is not always King in this world, this will be a good post for you to read.

The folks at DC on Film Row offer an event space that is free to be used for any endeavor that, in their own words, “strengthens our community and brings us together”. (Yes, you’re reading that right…free.)

You can enjoy their spirit of community development every Wednesday, during their #FoodTruckWeds and this Friday, their space will house some of the goodness going on at the Premiere on Film Row hootenanny. (Tonight’s hootenanny will feature the above pictured Graham Colton as part of the multi street concert, among others; DC on Film Row’s stage will feature acoustic duo Desi and Cody). You can check their calendar and sign up to be regularly updated, as well, just so you don’t miss any awesomeness they happen to host.

See, there’s still some goodness in the world. And DC on Film Row is hosted by the patent, trademark, and copyright law firm of Dunlap Codding, so there are even good lawyers in the world.

Miracles can happen.

(Click here for a full schedule of events and locations for this Friday’s Premiere on Film Row.)


Coming Up in OKC: Wheels and Water Demo Day

SUP yoga

Ever wanted to try Stand Up Paddleboarding? Jump on a skateboard, or kayak?

This coming Saturday, you have a chance to do that (and eat from a couple of the metro’s tasty food trucks) starting at 10:00 a.m. with the Water and Wheels Demo Day at Lake Overholser.

The Flat Tide Mobile Surf Shop will be there, dispensing fun in the sun along with Melonbike, OKC Kayak, and Core Extreme Sports.

If your interest is piqued by a SUP tryout, I can totally attest to the experience you’ll get with Flat Tide. Not only will they get you up and running with their awesome Intro to SUP class, they’ll introduce you to social paddles, provide boards for you to rent whenever a paddle strikes your fancy, and the cool Kerry can even teach you the REAL meaning of balance with a SUP Yoga class.

Visit their Facebook page for details, and follow them on Twitter just to cover your bases…a weather-dependent sport requires cooperative conditions; updates about cancellations come through social media.


Latest GORGO Issue–Rocking Nutrition With Tiffani Bachus

tiffanibachusLoved speaking with the food-savvy Tiffani Bachus for this issue of GORGO magazine, that ever-empowering e-pub for ladies’ fitness.

Tiffani has a lot of common sense about nutrition, but backs up her game with science. (She’s a Registered Dietician Nutritionist with a B.S. in Nutrition, as well as being an AFAA-certified personal trainer and former fitness competitor).

She holds a number of certifications–from the American Dietetics Association (ADA), Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), IDEA Health and Fitness Association and ADA’s practice group of sports nutritionists (SCAN)–but the single smartest thing I heard her say, during our conversation, was the (seemingly simple) observation that goes unnoticed so often, when we talk about nutrition, in the fitness/sports world…

“Women are different than men.”

Go read the full article at GORGO and visit Tiffani’s website, to check out her recipes and fitness tips, order her book, or take advantage of the programs/counseling she and her partner Erin Macdonald offer. (I think the personalized Nutrition Analysis they offer is a steal, at $49.00).

deadCENTER Film Festival Time, Okies!

I love writing movie reviews.

I mean, I watch a crap-ton of movies anyway…why not get paid to share my thoughts? (My friends are also thankful I have this outlet, since they’ll receive the brunt of my mental meanderings about what I watch, otherwise).

I also get the occasional gig as a publicity person, working preview screenings for a regional PR company–also a form of getting paid to watch movies. (Although this can backfire, when I have to watch something that is galactically insipid multiple times. But hey…it beats having a job that involves math, right?)

There’s a special place in my heart for reviewing movies for the deadCENTER Film Festival, however.

A five-day festival (June 10-14) that gathers independent films from around the world (including Oklahoma), deadCENTER is a great way to immerse yourself in indie movies and culture. (Visit the deadCENTER website for info on how to get tickets–and don’t wait until the last minute!)

You can read the reviews of the three movies I watched here, at Slice Magazine online. (Although you can read Slice articles for free online, I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to subscribe to the print edition, which is a beautifully put together publication. And, if I may say–in my Ed Grimly voice–the Oklahoma Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ choice this year for top magazine in our fair state.)

You can kill two hip-cat birds–supporting independent filmmaking and local artist community endeavors–with one stone by attending deadCENTER.

So…do it!